The Willistonian, Est. 1881

Tori Brings the Zing

Tori+performs+with+the+Wildchords+this+fall.+Credit%3A+Williston+Flickr.
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Tori Brings the Zing

Tori performs with the Wildchords this fall. Credit: Williston Flickr.

Tori performs with the Wildchords this fall. Credit: Williston Flickr.

Tori performs with the Wildchords this fall. Credit: Williston Flickr.

Tori performs with the Wildchords this fall. Credit: Williston Flickr.

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As the National Anthem blasts out of Williston’s Berube Stadium speakers, girls’ varsity soccer players hold hands in a line. Goosebumps dot their arms, not from the night air, but from their teammate’s remarkable voice.

“There is something really special about hearing your own teammate perform before a game, especially when they do it so beautifully like Tori does,” said Natalie Romain, a senior on the girls’ varsity soccer team. “She never ceases to amaze me and I always end up with chills. We play better when she performs.”

Tori Zingarelli’s singing isn’t limited to Williston. The senior from Longmeadow, Mass., performs in restaurants and music venues and records original songs. She auditions for top college programs and has tried out for the popular singing competition The Voice.

“I’m always nervous before I sing but I feel like if I’m not nervous it’s not worth it,” Tori said. “The nerves go away shortly after I begin and turn into adrenaline. It is such an out-of-body experience sometimes that words don’t describe it.”

She made it to the third round of auditions for The Voice, almost making it to the live show. She is hoping to perform at the Iron Horse in Northampton. Tori said networking plays a huge role in these situations. “You really need someone to know you and like you.”

Tori has been singing ever since she can remember, even humming around the house before she could talk. Now her goals are to become a performer, studio artist, or songwriter, but she is also after something bigger. “I want to spread as much music as possible because I feel music is the only way this world can heal,” she said.

Tori came to Williston as a junior last year from Wilbraham and Monson Academy. She wanted to be better prepared for college in terms of academics, arts, and athletics, and has taken full advantage at Williston. She plays varsity soccer, basketball, and lacrosse; leads The Wildcords, Williston’s a capella group; and she is in the Multicultural Student Union, Teller Chorus, and the spring play.

Steve Berlanga, Director of Choirs, described Tori as “curious and determined.” Berlanga works with Tori on her singing technique, auditions, and helps her with music theory so she can understand how various sounds work when she is writing songs.

“Tori has a very warm personality,” he said. “With the multitude of commitments she currently has at school, it can be difficult to keep up with everything all together, but when she is set on a project (particularly involving music) she devotes all of her time, energy, and thoughts toward her success.”

While she keeps very busy, Tori said her favorite part of Williston is her relationships with the people at school.

Jordyn Meunier ‘21 came to Williston in eighth grade, and plays varsity soccer, basketball, and lacrosse with Tori. She said Tori helped her feel welcome at school. “When I was new to Williston, she was one of the first people to recognize that I knew no one and caring enough to dedicate the time to get to know me,” said Jordyn. “She sets a great example of what I want to be like.”

This trimester Tori is taking the Williston Scholars performing arts class, which is an opportunity for students to pursue an independent project in the arts. Tori is devoting her time to music, especially recording original songs, something she has been pursuing heavily since she wrote her first song at age 15. Tori knows she wants to continue with music in college and she has been traveling for college auditions.

This year she tried out for her first Williston play and landed the lead role of Cinderella in Into the Woods. She is grateful for the opportunity and challenge. “I am so happy I am doing the play,” she said. “At times it takes me out of my comfort zone, but these are the times I learn the most.”

Tori has a big fan club at Williston.

Louisa Weed ’20, who plays soccer with Tori, sings, and is in the play, said Tori is “the most talented person” she has ever met. She described Tori as a role model and admires her work ethic.

According to Louisa, Tori puts herself out there “fearlessly,” whether in music, sports, or anything else.

“Tori has an amazing energy off and on the field,” said Fiona Bundy ’18, Tori’s teammate all three seasons. “She has the fastest shot [in lacrosse] I’ve ever seen and she works super hard. My favorite part of our night games is when she sings the National Anthem.”

Tori credited the supportive people in both the arts and athletic departments. “The time and effort these faculty members put into helping the student succeed and be their best selves whether it is through music, acting or dance, is so refreshing,” she said. “I really love the friends I have made. I love my teams and how supportive and kind they are.”

“She’s going places,” said Louisa. “She never gives up, she runs the hardest, pushes the most, strives the farthest, and smiles the biggest.”

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Sophia Schaefer '18, Managing Editor

Sophia is a six-year senior from Northampton, MA. She likes to play lacrosse and talk to her sister in a funny voice.

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Tori Brings the Zing